The other day I reluctantly went to mow the last patch of my lawn. There are some things that the warm weather brings that remind me summer is not all popsicles and beach bags. Mowing the lawn is one of them. We leave a lot to grow, and are not obsessed with the lawn, letting whatever wants to grow to do so, but you have to mow at some point unless you want a tick field surrounding your house. These are some of the other things that I do not miss in the winter: ticks (pulled a few so far), poison ivy (already got it on my eyelid and behind my ear), and stinging insects (stepped on a yellow jacket with bare feet on Monday and was out of commission for the day). I’m hoping I’m done with these noxious things for now.

So, here I go out into the back yard to mow the shadiest patch of lawn, that seems to collect little twigs and sticks making it a tough place to mow. After a few swathes through the lawn, I’m about to turn around and mow down the slope when I stopped myself and shut down the engine. There before me was a morel, just pushed out of the ground. Golden brown and honey-combed, I bent down on my knees to inspect it, all the while shouting Wow!! Look at that!! (No, I don’t play poker, and thankfully no one was around to see me freak out except the neighbor’s cat.)

I’ve looked for years for morels and never have. To find one, and a day later, another one nearby, in my own backyard was a real thrill. I didn’t pick either of them, instead created little shrines so I will remember where they are. I feel like looking for morels is like close reading. You can’t scan, you really have to look deeply. It is an art. However, sometimes you do get lucky!


  1. OMG – on your own lawn?! Not quite clear on why you didn’t pick and eat them. As for summertime blues, I DETEST those biting black flies! Do you have them? I have three bites the size of walnuts – no exaggeration – on my forehead, and they last for weeks…

    1. Yes, the black flies are horrible! But for some reason my son gets them–all along the back of his neck–and I am spared.

      Am I crazy for not eating them? I thought that if I let them have a normal life they might procreate, and I would have more.

  2. Are these edible? I am so interested in eating wild mushrooms, but I am not confident enough in knowing are o.k. to eat. Do you know a book to recommend.? Thanks. Mary Ann

    1. Hi Mary Ann! Yes, they are edible. I, too, am still not very confident with mushrooms even though I’ve been studying them for years. I would highly recommend joining your local mycological group. We have one in the Hudson Valley that’s huge, and they go on walks all the time. I think that’s the best way to learn.

  3. HOW BEAUTIFUL! THEY look lovely. I’m looking forward to your

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